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Let's Play "Chopped"  This thread currently has 3,944 views. Print Print Thread
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san j
Wednesday, October 31, 2012, 7:02pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Are you familiar with the Food Network program, Chopped?

Let's play it, here.

(You are each a chef. You have a basket containing 4 ingredients. You must use all four ingredients. You have a set amount of time to complete prep, execution and presentation:
[Appetizer round: 20 mins., Entree round: 30 mins., Dessert round: 30 mins.]

You are judged on:
Presentation, Taste, and Creativity.

Unlike the TV version, you have all sorts of time to think it over, after you've seen the basket's contents, but still only the allotted time to execute, to serve 3 judges.

Special Forum Game Addenda:
1. You may submit a second, totally different entry, after at least one other person has submitted an entry since your last one. Likewise a third, etc., entry.
2. I am the first producer; I must present an Appetizer Basket, an Entrée Basket, and then a Dessert Basket to all of you contestants, here. When my whole 3-basket "program" is over, and there have been some sort of "Judging Critique" sessions (I'll figure this out!  ), then it'll be someone else's turn to produce a program, OK?

I'm so inspired by some ingredients, sometimes, I think we could have a great time with it. Here goes:

Program One:

Appetizer Round (20 minutes):

Basket Contains:

- A dozen eggs
- A large jar of prepared white horseradish
- A few dozen walnuts, in their shells
- 3 Texas ruby grapefruits

Go.


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Drea  -  Wednesday, October 31, 2012, 8:35pm
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gulfcoastguy
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Why do I think this is what you have in your cupboard? Okay I'll bite. First a fritata with:eggs, cream, horseradish, some nice mushrooms and herbs. Second a fruit salad with toasted walnuts, grapefruit supremes, mint, orange supremes, and a touch of agave.
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san j
Thursday, November 1, 2012, 1:54am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from gulfcoastguy
Why do I think this is what you have in your cupboard? Okay I'll bite. First a fritata with:eggs, cream, horseradish, some nice mushrooms and herbs. Second a fruit salad with toasted walnuts, grapefruit supremes, mint, orange supremes, and a touch of agave.


They're favorites, yes: You know me, gcg. But I'm down to only a half grapefruit in there.

Let's see if anyone else wants to play, so there's some competition here.  
Meanwhile, you can be dreaming up baskets for Program #2, if you like, and you can include some of your favorites.

PS: Edit: Please name the mushrooms and herbs emphasized in bold.
Also: How did you use/add the horseradish?
Remember - the producer has to judge without tasting, so be specific.  



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gulfcoastguy
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Okay baby portabellas and basil, fresh of course. We need 3 other entrants before we move on to the entree.
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san j
Thursday, November 1, 2012, 2:58am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from gulfcoastguy
Okay baby portabellas and basil, fresh of course. We need 3 other entrants before we move on to the entree.

I know.
Maybe people don't want to be chopped.
But we've got some talented folks around here, and people who love this show.

Okay - How's this?
If you want to produce your own program, devising your own baskets, the prerequisite is that you've been a contestant!
(Obviously, the first producer cannot have met that requirement).
...



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Lola
Thursday, November 1, 2012, 6:38am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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scrambled eggs supreme are divine!
you need to shell those grapefruits for that......no skins whatsoever, just the juicy chunks of fruit......it is like  a soufflée

make a horseradish pesto with the walnuts added.....a type relish to go with the beaten eggs


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Amazone I.
Thursday, November 1, 2012, 7:21am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I dislike the idea that anybody should judge me in whatever.... sorry.. nada para me  


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Spring
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Quoted from Amazone I.
I dislike the idea that anybody should judge me in whatever.... sorry.. nada para me  


My first laugh for the day! Those cooking contests with all the hoopla make me a nervous wreck! And that is when it is someone else!!


"We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid." -- Benjamin Franklin
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Amazone I.
Thursday, November 1, 2012, 5:40pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

Rh+ GT 4...E/..INTJ ....prop.=non-taster..
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oops *someone else ..


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Spring
Thursday, November 1, 2012, 6:43pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Amazone I.
oops *someone else ..

On a show, Amazone. All that frenetic activity blows my mind when people are shredding, chopping, slicing, boiling, baking, broiling, stirring, dicing, stir-frying....... I would die before I started at the thought of such mind-blowing rivalry based on how I cooked and presented a food or foods.


"We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid." -- Benjamin Franklin
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san j
Thursday, November 1, 2012, 7:01pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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As someone who has been under terrific pressure in both the restaurant and private kitchen setting, I can say it is intense but also exhilarating.
The TV shows are different from that, being artificial, and Chopped is very much so, too. BUT:
There's a thread for talking about cooking shows. Do find it and participate with us there!  

This one is a Game.
If you do not want to play, that's okay, but it's in progress.
If you do not want to have your submission judged, then state that when you submit your creative ideas, and we will simply enjoy what you have to offer. Judge not us, and we will judge not you!  Fair?  

The idea is Play, not anyone's discomfort. I'm flexible.
Now:
What would folks do with those 4 ingredients?


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purlgirl
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I haven't seen the show so I'm a bit confused but it sounds interesting and fun.  
Hope you all keep going with this.


(maybe I should learn to use the TV again - DH kept changing cable providers - I got tired of learning new systems and just gave up TV)
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san j
Thursday, November 1, 2012, 9:02pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from purlgirl
I haven't seen the show so I'm a bit confused but it sounds interesting and fun.  
Hope you all keep going with this.


(maybe I should learn to use the TV again - DH kept changing cable providers - I got tired of learning new systems and just gave up TV)


All you have to do is "prepare" - in this case - an Appetizer dish, in 20 minutes or less, to serve 3.
It must include:
Eggs
Prepared Horseradish
Walnuts
Ruby Grapefruit.
That's all. Let us know when you're done so we can "taste" it!  
(Just a structured Creativity Exercise, is all. Some feel intimidated, but it's the sort of question posed on dadamo.com every day "What can I make with..."?
But if that's not your thang, that's okay, too.   )



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Spring
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I think I feel pretty "chopped" right now with all this mess in the Northeast. Even the idea of doing some "real" cooking is a little off-putting. I just feel completely out of ideas.... Grapefruit makes my stomach hurt. Walnuts are making my stomach hurt right now. Eggs sound all right but not for an appetizer. Sorry, san j, I think I just feel too sad which is unusual for me, but not when so many people are suffering. Maybe I will come alive later.....


"We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid." -- Benjamin Franklin
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san j
Friday, November 2, 2012, 5:44pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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gcg: I'm wondering if the B-Imagination is required to play.

People on these boards have no trouble chiming in with food prep ideas and recipes - with many restrictions per SWAMI, etc. - when someone is seeking RL advice, but can't do so "for fun" with no such restrictions and only time constraints.
Interesting.


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gulfcoastguy
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Well I have my opinions about that but I try to keep at least one forum where I haven't stomped on too many toes. Been arguing politic on Yahoo lately.
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san j
Friday, November 2, 2012, 5:57pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Maybe the ingredients are too challenging.


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Spring
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Quoted from gulfcoastguy
Been arguing politic on Yahoo lately.

Me too! And a whole lot of others! I grew up learning about politics.
San J, I mentioned why the thought of trying to deal with something like this got to me. You may have read my post about even listing foods I eat every day. It is something that I abhor almost! Seems even worse than trying to stick to a "diet" and having to measure, write down and sweat over every little bite. UGH! I LOVE my SWAMI!!


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san j
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Quoted from Spring
I grew up learning about politics.

I don't see how playing a food game is political.
People exchange recipe ideas here all the time.
Is that political, too, Spring?

Mystifying.
I guess people can only handle One-Single-Ingredient questions, such as "What can I do with Sweet Potatoes?"
I supposed that since you're all so good at sticking to Diamond and Super and Benny foods, you enjoy the challenge of combining ingredients differently and would like to up the ante a little, for fun.
Also, "Chopped" apparently has a dadamo forum following.
But that's Spectatorship. Folks prefer watching others play, I guess, while they sit on the sidelines. And that's okay.

EDIT:
Hey, here's something funny.
gcg: I just checked onto the forum and went to a thread on Hurricane Sandy, and your post of an hour ago was the first (only) one I saw: It was political: About workers who aren't union members being turned down for (cleanup?) jobs in NJ.

But "Chopped" is political?
Yeah. Grapefruit and walnuts - Too hot to handle, in comparison.  


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san j  -  Friday, November 2, 2012, 11:03pm
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Spring
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Quoted from san j
I don't see how playing a food game is political.

I was replying to GCG and added a note to you following the one I made to him. As for his post about the union mess ---- unions are political? Of course, they are, but that didn't mean GCG was being political.


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JillP
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I would love to play but have company so I need to entertain.

Quick thought is:

Section the grapefuit, glaze walnuts in a little ghee and molasis, cool and serve glazed walnuts on grapefruit

scrabled eggs with sauted scallions sauce of horseradish, avocado and feta (blended)

as a Warrior this all works for me    Sauce would need to be modified for my Hunter DH..something creamy other than avocado...


Married to a wonderful O- sec Hunter - he has already lost his 15 pounds...I have a few more to go    We both follow SWAMI

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san j
Saturday, November 3, 2012, 7:09pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from JillP
I would love to play but have company so I need to entertain.

Quick thought is:

Section the grapefuit, glaze walnuts in a little ghee and molasis, cool and serve glazed walnuts on grapefruit

scrabled eggs with sauted scallions sauce of horseradish, avocado and feta (blended)

as a Warrior this all works for me    Sauce would need to be modified for my Hunter DH..something creamy other than avocado...

Very creative, JillP!
And I loved your Bonus of D'Adamo-izing your entry's explanation. That "scored you mega-points" in this evolving version of the game.
Not sure this works as a Dinner Appetizer, but right now - it being Saturday 12:05pm on a sunny California day - it looks mighty "appetizing" for Brunch!  


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JillP
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OOPS in my haste I did breakfast...

How about we change the omlet to avocado deviled eggs, grapefruit would still work  


Married to a wonderful O- sec Hunter - he has already lost his 15 pounds...I have a few more to go    We both follow SWAMI

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending -Maria Robinson
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san j
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Quoted from JillP
OOPS in my haste I did breakfast...

How about we change the omlet to avocado deviled eggs, grapefruit would still work  

The judges have decided in your favor   , but you must supply more information about your deviled egg recipe, please.  



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JillP
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Appreciate the chance to redeem myslef  

Ingredients

12 hard-boiled eggs
2 avocados (ripe, halved and pitted)
1 garlic clove (crushed)  or some powder to taste
horseradish to taste (or tabasco something to kick it up)
1 tbsp olive oil
optional sea salt and pepper to taste

Cut eggs in half, take out yolks, moosh yolks with other ingredients and fill up the white.  Chill and enjoy


Married to a wonderful O- sec Hunter - he has already lost his 15 pounds...I have a few more to go    We both follow SWAMI

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending -Maria Robinson

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san j
Tuesday, November 6, 2012, 11:37pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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We need one more contestant, if we're going to match the TV version and have three rounds.


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gulfcoastguy
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This one should have been in there also San J.

New Orleans Cheesecake

4 packs (8 ounces each) cream cheese or neuchaftel at room temperature
12 ounces Chevre goat cheese at room temp.
1 cup sour cream
2 large eggs at room temperature
2 cups sugar or approximately 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups vegetable glycerine or agave respectively
1 T real vanilla extract, not imitation
juice of one lime

Butter a 9 inch springform pan and put the faux graham cracker crust in it
preheat oven to 300F to 350F
beat the creamcheese and chevre about 5 minutes with sugar or without. Add eggs and sour cream continueing to mix, add other ingredients and mix. Pour into pan and bake about 90 minutes till a spot a bit larger than a quarter will still jiggle. Turn off the oven and prop the door open to let the cake cool off completely. Refrigerate overnight.
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san j
Wednesday, November 7, 2012, 2:28am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from gulfcoastguy
This one should have been in there also San J.

New Orleans Cheesecake

4 packs (8 ounces each) cream cheese or neuchaftel at room temperature
12 ounces Chevre goat cheese at room temp.
1 cup sour cream
2 large eggs at room temperature
2 cups sugar or approximately 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups vegetable glycerine or agave respectively
1 T real vanilla extract, not imitation
juice of one lime

Butter a 9 inch springform pan and put the faux graham cracker crust in it
preheat oven to 300F to 350F
beat the creamcheese and chevre about 5 minutes with sugar or without. Add eggs and sour cream continueing to mix, add other ingredients and mix. Pour into pan and bake about 90 minutes till a spot a bit larger than a quarter will still jiggle. Turn off the oven and prop the door open to let the cake cool off completely. Refrigerate overnight.

I think you meant to post this at "Thanksgiving". Wanna move/add it?



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Chloe
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OK, I'll play.  I'm a big Chopped fan....I freak out when a chef cuts their finger and keeps on cooking wearing a glove.  It's when I quickly exit the show with the remote....return after the drama is over....  Also don't like
watching any chef sweating into their food.....doesn't happen often but it's gross...Love Alex and
can't stand that Amanda woman....She seems so aloof and I can't stand the way she sends daggers with her eyes to the contestants after tasting their food.  I'd rather she just vomit in her plate, rather than make these professionals feel badly about their performance.....She's probably a lovely person (don't really think so) but her persona on that show pisses me off...I really love Aron...he's cool....I get excited when he and Alex are judging together....
and there's this Indian female judge who is pretty knowledgeable about ingredients and I like
what she contributes to the judging....  The pressure of this show blows my mind.  There have been nights where I can't get dinner ready even in an hour at my fastest pace with ingredients
I've used many times before....Even with my stove which has 6 burners and two ovens, I find
rushing in the kitchen unnerving...   The fact that anyone can take unknown ingredients and produce an entire meal in 20 or 30 minutes takes incredible expertise.

But willing to play Chopped here if everyone is still on board....


"The happiest people don't have the best of everything.....they know how to make the best of everything!"
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Go Chloe  

The good thing about playing Chopped on the internet is there is no rushing around  

I have a busy weekend ahead but I would love to play !


Married to a wonderful O- sec Hunter - he has already lost his 15 pounds...I have a few more to go    We both follow SWAMI

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending -Maria Robinson
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san j
Thursday, November 8, 2012, 9:35pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I agree, Chloe, that the sweating is sickening to watch.
As a former chef, I have to admit that free-flowing hair is a major, major no-no. It was back in my day (the 1980s), and my long-haired food staff, male and female, wore elastic bands, headbands, nets, whatever it took to ensure the absence on hair on plates. I've seen very long hair flowing free in some TV cooking show kitchens, and I wonder that the health dept. hasn't chimed in.  
As for cuts - occasionally it can't be helped, and in a professional kitchen First Aid equipment must be close at hand. Because of the time constraints of that game, however, my assumption is that those injuries deemed "gloveable" by on-site production staff - according to their parameters - are permitted to go the whole 20 or 30 minutes without bandaging. And the gloves are effective.

Other than knife injuries, the two big safety hazards in the kitchen are:
Slips/falls
Burns/fire

It's amazing we don't see more of these, because they, like cuts, are kin'a common events IRL. And the Chopped contestants really run around in there!

- - - - -
But - yeah, girl! Bring on your 20-minute appetizer! Tie back your hair and be careful with that knife!  


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Chloe
Thursday, November 8, 2012, 9:42pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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san j ....are going to give us the ingredients to use?

Waiting for instructions....

Jill I love your quote.  Who is the author Maria Robinson?


"The happiest people don't have the best of everything.....they know how to make the best of everything!"
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Chloe
Thursday, November 8, 2012, 9:46pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from gulfcoastguy
This one should have been in there also San J.

New Orleans Cheesecake

4 packs (8 ounces each) cream cheese or neuchaftel at room temperature
12 ounces Chevre goat cheese at room temp.
1 cup sour cream
2 large eggs at room temperature
2 cups sugar or approximately 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups vegetable glycerine or agave respectively
1 T real vanilla extract, not imitation
juice of one lime

Butter a 9 inch springform pan and put the faux graham cracker crust in it
preheat oven to 300F to 350F
beat the creamcheese and chevre about 5 minutes with sugar or without. Add eggs and sour cream continueing to mix, add other ingredients and mix. Pour into pan and bake about 90 minutes till a spot a bit larger than a quarter will still jiggle. Turn off the oven and prop the door open to let the cake cool off completely. Refrigerate overnight.


This is the type of recipe I might as well paste right to my thighs!~ The fat content is mind blowing



"The happiest people don't have the best of everything.....they know how to make the best of everything!"
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cajun
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Age: 62
I love to watch "chopped" when possible!
I also get nervous/anxious just as a spectator! Way too much pressure for this "A"!
Yes, I do enjoy sitting back and absorbing the skills/knowledge/ideas then go to my kitchen and play around adding my own tricks.

(I have a 6 burner stove and 2 ovens, also Chloe! I made sure of it when we were fortunate enough to build our house almost 7 years ago. )


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gulfcoastguy
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Quoted from Chloe


This is the type of recipe I might as well paste right to my thighs!~ The fat content is mind blowing



Yep, I make it twice a year at the most. I also only make it for potlucks where I'm lucky to get one slice.
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Quoted Text
san j ....are going to give us the ingredients to use?

Waiting for instructions....

Quoted from san j

Program One:

Appetizer Round (20 minutes):

Basket Contains:

- A dozen eggs
- A large jar of prepared white horseradish
- A few dozen walnuts, in their shells
- 3 Texas ruby grapefruits

Go.

Serves 3. Remember to compete on : Taste, Presentation, and Creativity.


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Chloe
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First chance I've had to read ingredients...be back later...twenty minutes..not enough time for me right now because I'm super busy.


"The happiest people don't have the best of everything.....they know how to make the best of everything!"
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san j
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Quoted from Chloe
First chance I've had to read ingredients...be back later...twenty minutes..not enough time for me right now because I'm super busy.

"20 mins." signifies the time it would take to assemble/execute your recipe - not the anount of time you need to devote to this!  


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OK, got a recipe.

And from what I remember about the rules of Chopped you can use as much or as little of the ingredients as you like....

I crack and measure out about 1/2 cup of walnuts and chop them.... and put them in a pan
turn the oven to 350 and lightly toast them.  Remove and cool.

Then, I chop the 3 grapefruits up into sections. Of course I've removed the peel and put into a bowl

I then add 2 chopped avocados, about 2 T of chopped cilantro and one small onion chopped.

I then take one egg yolk
1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1-4 teaspoons sugar, optional or any sweetener to taste
5-6  teaspoons lemon juice plus a few tsps of the juice that has collected in the grapefruit section bowl
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 cup of EVOO

I make mayo with my stick blender and add a pinch of horseradish..

I toss my salad, drizzle with my mayo
and sprinkle with chopped toasted walnuts

And I'm DONE

I have made a grapefruit/avocado salad with homemade mayo topped with toasted walnuts.

How does that sound?


"The happiest people don't have the best of everything.....they know how to make the best of everything!"
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san j
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All four contestants have submitted their appetizers, to be judged on Taste, Presentation, and Creativity:


gulfcoastguy: Portabello mushroom/basil frittata made with horseradish/cream, served with grapefruit/orange sections and toasted walnuts and fresh mint: Sweetened with agave

JillP: Deviled Eggs, stuffed with a horseradish/garlic/avocado filling, served with grapefruit sections/glazed walnuts

Lola: Scrambled eggs with chunks of grapefruit, and a horseradish/walnut pesto "relish"

Chloe: Salad of Grapefruit and Avocado with cilantro and onions, dressed with horseradish mayo, garnished with chopped toasted walnuts.

"One of you will not make it to the next round," as Ted Allen says, "You will be chopped."

But you all knew that.
I am the judge of this Dinner only, as it is our first show.
And since it's the first (and maybe it'll be a little sidebar here, very very slowly happening/evolving for your Distraction-Pleasure over the decades  ) one, it's in a way the hardest because more kinks will have to be ironed out.

First of all - obviously - I cannot taste your entries.
Secondly, I cannot see them.
Thirdly, it is time consuming to ask each contestant a list of questions about his/her ingredients and decision-making process, which is a normal part of discovery.

So: Firstly, I find that sharing as much as possible with the Forum when you submit your entry - Chloe showed us her recipe, for instance - makes the judge's job far easier. Especially when it comes to Taste, but it's also your opportunity to sway the judge about your Creativity.
Secondly, give us an idea of how you are presenting the dish, so the judge can visualize what is put before her/him.
Thirdly, announce your dish's title at the top of your entry; contestants present to the judges on the show, saying, "I have made for you today a Portabella Frittata..."...as if you were reading it off a menu, like a fine waitperson describing it in one sentence for a diner.

I'll be back with
(1) The critique of each dish. Then,
(2) The hardest part: The identity of the Chopped-one. Then:
(3) The Basket Items that the 3 remaining contestants will have to use in the 30-minute-preparation of a Dinner Entree that follows their respective Appetizer entries.
See you soon, lovelies.
Guess what: This is not an enviable job.  


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Pre-Verdict Critique:


GCG: Your plate is impressive for its balance. A customer would be happy to treat it as an appetizer, with its protein/egg-based frittata, providing filling/appetizing substance. I'm a little confused by the fresh basil and horseradish in the same frittata, however, without being able to taste it. But I like the fact that, while the "grapefruit sections salad with walnuts" was kind of a Default "side" on more than one entry plate, yours included oranges and mint. As an appetizer, however, sweetening the fruit may be a bit much. Just the areas I'd point out. But I can envision the dish, and I can see that, if you hustled, you could pull this off: A frittata was a prudent choice for the time allotted.

JillP: You got a head start over Lola, because (having the sense you were unfamiliar with the game) I reminded you this was a dinner, not a brunch, so you changed your entry to deviled eggs from an omelet - not that an omelet wouldn't have made the grade!  You filled these hardboiled eggs with a creamy filling with some garlic and bite, and served them with, yes, grapefruit sections with glazed walnuts. Something green on the plate would have helped. With deviled eggs and fruit salad alone, I feel like I've chosen them from a buffet table; they don't relate to each other as a unified dish, although the citrus does provide acid versus the fat in the eggs.

Lola: You were the most creative with the walnuts, processing them into a pesto with the horseradish, rather than garnishing grapefruit sections with them. The scrambled eggs idea was not, again, something most restaurants would chance on their dinner appetizer menus, so while each entry came with a quandary, that was yours. I'm also not getting a sense of the inherent flavor of these scrambled eggs. I don't know what you beat into them, if anything, but this appetizer should not have to rely upon the side relish for that quality and be bland without it.
Also: I think the diner is missing something green in here. A bed of mustard greens or chard under those "divinely" whipped eggs would have provided that, and perhaps, if sautéed in/with some other ingredient(s) from the pantry, provided some of the flavor we're missing from the eggs, too.

Chloe: Kudos for the detail of your process. And for including other ingredients in your grapefruit/walnut salad! The cilantro and avocado were a nice touch. But I'm missing here the balance required - This is basically a fruit salad, and the diner will consider it a "Side" or a "Salad", but not an Appetizer, especially without any protein other than the egg in the dressing and a dusting of chopped walnuts, and without even a starch such as some sort of noodle, crouton, or chip. The plate arrives, and the restaurant diner feels "Something's Missing" -- then tastes it and says, perhaps, "This is great, but I'm starving!" and/or "Did they leave something off the plate?

(Remember, friends, you can use other pantry items to your hearts' content!
Just remember that the judge will be looking for the character of each of the basket ingredients to shine through these as well.)

That's the Commentary part of the judging. Think it was fun?  

It's well-nigh impossible. No matter whom I chop, I'll be deemed unfair, because I can't taste anything, or for some other reason. I think you're all wonderful and brave souls for "going first". Remember that you will be expected to carry forward the information from the critique of your Appetizer into the following courses, demonstrating a learning curve as to how the game is played...unless you're chopped...and I have to consider that learning curve's likelihood when I choose who steps aside at least 'til the next program!
Remember: The Chopped Champion of this whole 3-course Dinner will have to do what I'm doing now: Judge your neighbor's entries!  

(Prayer and) Verdict to follow.


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san j
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Okay.
Someone has been chopped.
And you'll see how non- Self-Serving the Verdict is:

Lola has been chopped.

Lola: I have known you almost 8 years, here at dadamo, so it's clear I don't play favorites. Not only that, but you are who you are here on the Forum, my and everyone's helper, guide, and friend, but I could not let that influence this tough decision.
It simply boiled down to your not using pantry/fridge adequately, not fleshing out your plate with the elements required for the presentation of a full Appetizer. (Maybe it's because you're so derned busy here on the Forum fixing everything with that toolkit of yer'n!  ) Your originality with your walnuts, however, is something that I know would have carried into every other dish you'd have provided, and I hope it will inspire the other three as we go forward.

(JillP had submitted an omelet, too, before she changed her entry. However, even there, she included scallions in it, which brought a bit of the garden onto her plate, diversifying the elements. She also had proposed a feta cheese sauce with it. So the fact that you served "scrambled eggs" was not the factor here.)

The upside is: You don't have to work with the other two baskets I shall present to gcg, JillP, and Chloe!

Okay, you other three.
Next I'll give you your baskets.
Let me think this over.
( And I suggest that anyone considering ever producing a "Forum Chopped" program start thinking now about such baskets...as well as whether or not the job really appeals to you!)

See y'all 'round.


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OMG...this is so much fun!  

Just a question... Is an appetizer not supposed to be a salad?  I mean if it has protein, isn't that overdoing  protein if you're following an A diet?  A salad usually precedes the meal and is often the first course in a restaurant. Yes?  No?  Or are we not considering our personal diets in this contest?
Just need clarification.  Thanks.

BTW, you're an awesome commentator...not saying that to make brownie points. But you really did
a very good job!....You might want to apply to the real Chopped show and replace Amanda... I'd be happy to see Amanda move on.


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Quoted from Chloe
OMG...this is so much fun!  

Just a question... Is an appetizer not supposed to be a salad?  I mean if it has protein, isn't that overdoing  protein if you're following an A diet?  A salad usually precedes the meal and is often the first course in a restaurant. Yes?  No?  Or are we not considering our personal diets in this contest?
Just need clarification.  Thanks.

BTW, you're an awesome commentator...not saying that to make brownie points. But you really did
a very good job!....You might want to apply to the real Chopped show and replace Amanda... I'd be happy to see Amanda move on.


This is an excellent and fair question. Thanks for it. I actually, in preparing the baskets for the Entrée round, am considering the bloodtypes here re: ingredients to the best of my ability, but be prepared to work with those you may not like or that don't agree with you?

More directly answering you: I actually prepared and was known for vegetarian cuisine, aside from my offerings for the standard carnivore. We're using "restaurant" standards here, and I have to say that a grapefruit/avocado salad without any starch or protein accompaniment, or even substantial vegetable ingredients such as beans (protein and starch, both!) or hard/round vegetables or roots (which can serve as starches, and often do, in a vegetarian establishment) is usually perceived by a patron as a side order or "salad" course. We do tend to look for that...balance on all restaurant plates.

For example: A salad I like very much among a local San Francisco restaurant's "Salad" offerings also contains grapefruit and walnuts, as well as goat cheese (fat, where yours contains avocado for that) but there's a "base": Beets. It's actually called "Beet Salad, with...". Do you see it?

Good question, because - even in Dessert - you'll see that the balancing of a dish's components is critical not only to flavor, but to meeting a certain unconscious expectation of a diner as to what constitutes a Satisfying Whole Dish, complete unto itself, whatever his "type". I found that, when serving vegetarians, too.

And - believe me - what I eat at home does not reflect these standards. I don't have to produce like this anymore, but once you learn it, you don't forget it. No longer "wearing the toque", this little distraction'll have to do.
Glad this is fun for you.
I'm studying some ingredients and d'adamo info before the next round.

I'm relieved that you were okay with the game so far. Thanks for the feedback.


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san j
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Okay - another note - re: originality:

On the TV show, everyone has to prepare and serve at the same time, so the contestants do not see each other's dishes until their own are seen, too.

Last round, all three of you served a "grapefruit salad with walnuts".

Do you think we can avoid that somehow?
Like, if you delay in posting your dish, you are more expected to combine the ingredients in some other way? It's that or establish a "Posting Time-Window", which I think would be oppressive to real people with, hello, lives.

Ideas, please. For a game that "sticks" around, I mean.


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Hmm, well walnuts were the stickler. They had to be used otherwise a grapefruite juice/tequila spiked sorbet might have been nice. Might not have gone with the frittata but maybe a variation on a Mimosa made with grapefruit would have worked.
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Quoted from san j
Okay - another note - re: originality:

On the TV show, everyone has to prepare and serve at the same time, so the contestants do not see each other's dishes until their own are seen, too.

Last round, all three of you served a "grapefruit salad with walnuts".

Do you think we can avoid that somehow?
Like, if you delay in posting your dish, you are more expected to combine the ingredients in some other way? It's that or establish a "Posting Time-Window", which I think would be oppressive to real people with, hello, lives.

Ideas, please. For a game that "sticks" around, I mean.


Not sure how to solve this issue....Personally, I didn't read anyone else's posts prior
to coming up with my recipe...I was just walking around my kitchen looking at my own pantry/
refrigerator items and I've made a version of my grapefruit salad before without a dressing.....Many times on the real show, people are making similar dishes. In a virtual game, though, the judge
isn't tasting so this makes it all the more difficult unless the recipes themselves are very
detailed....including specific spices and herbs.  I personally think if there are too many rules, this game won't be appealing....It might be a game where we (this particular group of 4) play once a week and just one game on one day, following whatever rules you deem acceptable... even though the thread can stick around for 4 other people to join and play at other times, different days..  I think because you created the thread, this should be something that works for you......but I just think that if it starts to feel too much like an obligation/job, people will feel frustrated having to meet time restrictions if they're got very busy lives.

The fun of this I think was the spontaneity of the moment.  Four people noticed your thread and
participated.  Perhaps you keep the thread open and active just so people notice it...even if we take
a little break to talk about the issues you've described in your last post....how to compose a balanced
dish-- flavor wise.  I think we all could learn a lot about that subject given your expertise.

I sort of think we all have to be present and ready to participate at the same time, within a few hours.....and even that is so random, given we all don't even live in the same time zone.

Less rules might work better...but like I said, it's your thread....and I have no problem with however
you'd like this to go. If I can be here and play, I will....

Perhaps if the thread sticks around, the game can start any time 4 people show interest.  You can
always keep asking if people are ready to receive an appetizer and start working on it. The most
difficult part is going to be fitting it into a time frame.  I honestly don't have a good solution for that.
Nor can I really figure out a solution for the originality issue.

Those ingredients were challenging for me....I could only think of quiches or salads.  And could
not for the life of me figure out how to use grapefruit in a quiche.  Now that I'm re-thinking my
options I'm wondering if there were any truly unique ways to use those 4 foods.

I think my biggest issue as a home cook is that I've been eating a BTD for over 20 years...and A type foods...
so even eggs were a challenge given the original A diet wasn't very egg-y....and I'm allergic to eggs.

And I'm rather a novice when it comes to working with meats and animal proteins.  I rarely eat anything
except turkey or fish.  And I don't drink so I know nothing about cocktails.

What would you have done with those ingredients?  


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san j
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You're right, Chloe - this is a lot of work.
I hadn't counted on that.
But I do figure that much of the work is in this, the first Dinner. It's here that we're talking about this stuff, trying to adapt a really good TV game to an internet Forum, a game that can hang out in "Stickies" and be fooled/tooled around with by others in the future, even. In time, maybe our own "version" will evolve, too, but we've gotta start somewhere.

As for your geographical concerns: Right now, all three contestants are on the East Coast: You in the NE, the other two in the SE. I'm in California, but I don't think that's mattered so much, thus far, do you?

I dunno.
Instinct says that if everyone takes it seriously enough to commit to ONE program, but NOT so seriously - mentally - as to care who wins or loses, but rather to pick up ideas for balancing / flavoring dishes or using/combining ingredients in original ways... then...Everybody Wins - even the spectators/lurkers! Sometimes a little competition forces you to try new things in the kitchen, use ingredients in novel ways: That's what that game is all about, IMO.

- - - -

I'm a little "fried" on this, myself at the moment, lovey.
I certainly couldn't play this role regularly/ all the time.
And, I'm realizing, it really does take a certain...personality and energy --- that of a Game Show Host! I "sort of" have it. But I've got a limited amount of Extraversion to go around, you know? And, for now, I'm tapped out...  


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Chloe
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Yes, you have it....good job, game show host!  Also you played judges.  No wonder you're tapped out... you've worn so many hats today!  Thanks for the fun!  

Off to bed.....yawn!


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san j
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Quoted from Chloe
Those ingredients were challenging for me....I could only think of quiches or salads.  And could
not for the life of me figure out how to use grapefruit in a quiche.  Now that I'm re-thinking my
options I'm wondering if there were any truly unique ways to use those 4 foods.

I think my biggest issue as a home cook is that I've been eating a BTD for over 20 years...and A type foods...
so even eggs were a challenge given the original A diet wasn't very egg-y....and I'm allergic to eggs.

And I'm rather a novice when it comes to working with meats and animal proteins.  I rarely eat anything
except turkey or fish.  And I don't drink so I know nothing about cocktails.

What would you have done with those ingredients?  

Chloe: You gave me a great deal to think about, with the first part of your post, which I didn't quote. It's all percolating.
But I wanted to get back to you about these other issues.
First: I hope my example of the Beet Salad at the San Francisco restaurant made sense to you. If I were your coach, in your home kitchen, and you asked me: What do you think of my grapefruit/avocado salad, I'd love it, if it were good, but I'd tell you: If you want to serve this at a holiday dinner or social affair and send it over the top, follow the lead of that restaurant and use the whole thing to accent some "more important" vegetable, you being an A and not wanting any more protein with your Appetizer. This way, you're meeting your own health needs, but you're also elevating your dish a notch, to a more expert and satisfying level. Think of a benef. or neutral vegetable that would tie those ingredients together for you - Blanched cabbage or cauliflower, maybe, if you're permitted these - or, if you have the time, something marinated underneath your salad, like rappini/rabe or green beans? Now you've built something. You might have really wow'ed me if you'd awakened the humble turnip by blanching thin slices or juliennes of it to the bite, and then dressing it - first with your grapefruit/avocado/onion pieces, and then with your horseradishy mayo and cilantro. I'm wondering if you see it, because Avocado is basically a Fat, period. And that's why I called yours a "fruit salad".
I have served dishes such as marinated cold asparagus as a wonderful appetizer, so I'm sort of agreeing with you (but marinating would have taken us over our 20-minute limit). If you re-read my reference to your needing to consider a protein in your salad, it was clearly in light of the fact that you had not provided an adequate vegetable foundation. "Especially" was the word I used.
So, the coach answers you, and I hope that helped, really helped.

In answer to your question as to what I'd personally have done with that basket, my mind teems with possibilities. But since I'm concocting baskets for your next two courses, why don't we finish the meal first? Then I'll provide you with those ideas.

And I like that you asked. This is where we can invite Audience Participation:
When the whole meal is over, lurkers/spectators may be asked to post what they'd have done with the basket ingredients; THAT's not something done on the TV show, and could be a strong educational feature of our (not "my", as it will evolve) show.

Thanks, Chloe.  


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Lola
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Quoted Text
Lola: Scrambled eggs with chunks of grapefruit, and a horseradish/walnut pesto "relish"


a grapefruit soufflée might be more appropriate eh?


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san j
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Quoted from Lola

You rock, muñeca.   Totally a Class Act.



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with the walnut horseradish relish on the side


''Just follow the book, don't look for magic fixes to get you off the hook. Do the work.'' Dr.D.'98
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gulfcoastguy
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I'll be back at dark but for now? We'll I'm a Nomad!
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san j
Saturday, November 10, 2012, 7:02pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Lola
with the walnut horseradish relish on the side


Your claim to fame: Horseradish Pesto.
Ironically, O First Chopped-One, that may well turn out to be the legacy of the whole show!  



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san j
Saturday, November 10, 2012, 11:13pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Here is the Mystery Basket for gcg, JillP, and Chloe, for the Entrée Round on "Virtual Chopped":

Salmon steaks
Jicama
Apricot preserves
Whole roasted almonds

You have 30 mins. execution time.
Go.

I have to use my B Imagination to "taste" your dishes, yes, and even to envision them.
Please present them with as much detail (ingredients, recipes, presentation) re your execution and decisions thereabout as possible, so we don't have to back-and-forth before the critique.

(You're lucky, because the overwhelming majority of contestant demerits are for errors/omissions in execution: Undercooking, overcooking, forgetting to use an ingredient or plate it, bad butchering, not really knowing how to prep an unfamiliar ingredient, etc. I obviously can't judge how well you do anything but imagine / conceptualize / plan.)

Have fun in there, friends!


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gulfcoastguy
Sunday, November 11, 2012, 2:11am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Okay 30 minutes is doable with one proviso, my charcoal grill is allready fired up.

First Apricot Rosemary Glazed Salmon

Mix a teaspoon of finely chopped fresh rosemary from my bush with olive oil and apple cider vinegar in a 2 to 1 ratio. Add apricot preserves a tablespoon at a time tasting as you go so that is sweet but doesn't overwhelm the rosemary, add half a finely minced habenero pepper. Oil and salt the steaks and put them over a lump charcoal fire with some of the rosemary twigs in the coals. Do not over cook. Flip once and spread the glaze on the cooked side. Take off the grill when it is slightly underdone as it will continue to cook from residual heat.

Jicama Salad

peel and shred the jicama
peel and shed a cup of carrots
finely mince a jalapeno pepper
a couple of tablespoons of finely minced green onions(bunching onions) from the garden
a cucumber chopped
1/2 tablespoon of sea salt
3 tablespoons honey or agave
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
mix and let marinate for 15 minutes or more.

Chop the almonds
toss in oilive oil , sea salt, and a table spoon of minced fresh rosemary and roast in a sheet pan.

Sprinkle the slaw with the toasted almonds. Serve with the glazed salmon steaks.

Serve with a beer in the bottle, Shiner boch maybe.

Revision History (2 edits)
gulfcoastguy  -  Sunday, November 11, 2012, 3:01am
to add the beer
gulfcoastguy  -  Sunday, November 11, 2012, 3:00am
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Chloe
Sunday, November 11, 2012, 2:48am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees (to bake the salmon)

Pour  into a large pot 3 cups of vegetable oil (to fry the jicama slices) and with
a thermometer clipped to side of pot, heat the oil to 350 degrees.

Take 3/4 c almonds and put them in a zip lock bag and bang with a rolling pin to crush them lightly.

Immediately after this, get out a fry pan and add a few tablespoons of EVOO and add one pound
of raw string beans after oil is heated....Watch carefully and keep turning beans as they slowly
and very lightly cook.  When still firm, add the crushed almonds and a small amount of ghee...
Sea salt to taste and turn off heat.  Cover pan with a lid and let sit until ready to serve.  Beans
will continue to cook and be tender by the time other items are finished cooking.

Make the salmon seasoning mixture using the following ingredients
1 tsp of paprika
1 tsp of cumin
1/2 tsp crushed garlic
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl....

Take one teaspoon of apricot preserves and spread evenly on top of each piece of salmon

Divide evenly onto each slice of salmon the seasoning ingredients

Place each piece of salmon on a separate sheet of parchment paper, fold in half and then fold around carefully creating a half moon container.  Place salmon packets on a baking sheet and bake for 22 minutes.

While this is baking, make jicama fries

Oil should have now come close to the targeted 350 degrees

Take two large jicamas and cut with a mandoline very thin slices, as if making potato chips

When temperature reaches 350, fry in small batches and turn with a wire basket tool until chips
have reached desired shade of light brown.

Remove batches and add more jicama until all is fried. Drain on a paper towel.

Season with a mixture of equal parts paprika, onion powder, garlic powder and a pinch of sea salt.

To plate...

Remove salmon packets from the oven and open each packet carefully (allow as much time as possible to let salmon rest in parchment before slitting packet for plating).......with spatula, carefully lift each piece onto a plate and spoon sauce that was created from salmon juices and apricot preserves on top of each piece.....Serve with string beans almondine and fried jicama chips.

YUM!  

I have made Baked Apricot Salmon
String beans almondine
Fried seasoned Jicama chips




"The happiest people don't have the best of everything.....they know how to make the best of everything!"

Revision History (2 edits)
Chloe  -  Sunday, November 11, 2012, 4:48am
Chloe  -  Sunday, November 11, 2012, 4:47am
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san j
Sunday, November 11, 2012, 9:47pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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We are just waiting for our third contestant, JillP, to submit her dish.


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honeybee
Monday, November 12, 2012, 1:50am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Apricot salmon - you guys are great!    would never of thought of that.
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Dianne
Monday, November 12, 2012, 2:53am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Mon Dieu! My mouth is watering...great ideas from the chefs...great idea from SanJ for this thread. It is intriguing...  

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gulfcoastguy
Monday, November 12, 2012, 4:21am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Well I probably should have added a third dish but I was giving myself a 30 minute time limit. I later thought of a navy bean puree with rosemary, olive oil and garlic but the bell has rung.
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san j
Monday, November 12, 2012, 6:43am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Has JillP left the country? the building?
Mid-game?
It's Sunday - No one gets chopped tonight.  

gcg: wouldashouldacoulda...


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Chloe
Monday, November 12, 2012, 2:44pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from san j
Has JillP left the country? the building?
Mid-game?
It's Sunday - No one gets chopped tonight.  

gcg: wouldashouldacoulda...


It's starting to feel like a game of chess.



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san j
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Quoted from Chloe


It's starting to feel like a game of chess.



It is Monday. This is the first program, and we never laid out the time-frame for this, so JillP was away from her computer over the weekend? Power to her!
Let's wait to hear from her today.
If I don't hear from her today, I have a few ideas for moving forward. Gimme the time to work this out, today, Thanks.


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JillP
Monday, November 12, 2012, 9:20pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Sorry...my father in law took a bad spill and ended up in the hospital and Mom in law has memory and vission issues...I was being a care giver.  I just got back to my computer.  I read the thread to the dinner basket ingredients and then popped here to the bottom to type this note.  

I will give you my recipe by 6:00 PM EST today...so sorry for the delay it could not be helped  


Married to a wonderful O- sec Hunter - he has already lost his 15 pounds...I have a few more to go    We both follow SWAMI

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san j
Monday, November 12, 2012, 9:34pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from JillP
Sorry...my father in law took a bad spill and ended up in the hospital and Mom in law has memory and vission issues...I was being a care giver.  I just got back to my computer.  I read the thread to the dinner basket ingredients and then popped here to the bottom to type this note.  

I will give you my recipe by 6:00 PM EST today...so sorry for the delay it could not be helped  

Understandable. Hope Dad's okay!
Looking forward to your yummies, JP.



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san j
Monday, November 12, 2012, 9:38pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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JillP: I understand it will be impossible for you to ignore the completed entries of your two competitors. I would ask simply that you take a look at the "mystery ingredients" and do with them what you would have, anyway: Something original, creative, tasty, and pleasant to the eye, all (of course) completely prepped and executed within 30 minutes.
Good Luck.  


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JillP
Monday, November 12, 2012, 10:03pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Tonight I prepared for you a Salmon and Spinach Salad with Jicama Chips

preheat oven to 450

Cut rind off of jicama, cut into quarters or sixths whatever will fit in chute of food  processor and using slicing blade make THIN chips.  Dry chips in a towel and then microwave for 2 minutes.  Spread on cookie sheet with parchment paper, spray with olive oil cooking spray, sprinkle with Cajun Seasoning, sea salt and garlic powder.  Bake until time to put on plate.

In LARGE frying nonstick frying pan.  Put 2 TBL spoons of olive oil. Spread it around and add Salmon filets.  While salmon is cooking on first side grate ginger.  Flip steaks, pour 1/4 to 1/3 cup of lemon juice over steaks (it will then be in the pan to finish sauting the steaks) spread a think layer of grated ginger on the steaks and simmer until steaks are flakey.

Lightly chop almonds and toast in dry pan.

Get a pretty plate and spread with a dinner salad size portion of washed baby spinach.  Sprinkle with Feta, Craisins and toasted almonds.  Add steaks when they flake easily.  Put jicama chips to the side where they do not get soggy.


Drizzle with dressing  which is 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup lemon juice and enough apricot preserves to make it sweet (start with 3 Tablespoons and add more if you like it sweeter) blend or whisked togeter.

This meal is A and O compliant...not sure about others but should be easily adaptable.  Enjoy  


Married to a wonderful O- sec Hunter - he has already lost his 15 pounds...I have a few more to go    We both follow SWAMI

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JillP
Monday, November 12, 2012, 10:23pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from Chloe
san j ....are going to give us the ingredients to use?

Waiting for instructions....

Jill I love your quote.  Who is the author Maria Robinson?


Yes, the author of the quote is Maria Robinson  




Married to a wonderful O- sec Hunter - he has already lost his 15 pounds...I have a few more to go    We both follow SWAMI

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JillP
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Quoted from san j
JillP: I understand it will be impossible for you to ignore the completed entries of your two competitors. I would ask simply that you take a look at the "mystery ingredients" and do with them what you would have, anyway: Something original, creative, tasty, and pleasant to the eye, all (of course) completely prepped and executed within 30 minutes.
Good Luck.  


Actually I did not look at their meals until I had completed mine...Thanks for understanding the delay.  Father in law is 86 and broke shoulder and pelvis.  Thankfully no surgery, just lots of therapy.  He is sharp as a tac and his main concern is his bride of 64 years and who will care for her while he cannot.  She is in early stages of Alzheimers, short term memory is going fast. Sad, they are such a sweet and loving couple.




Married to a wonderful O- sec Hunter - he has already lost his 15 pounds...I have a few more to go    We both follow SWAMI

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Spring
Monday, November 12, 2012, 10:56pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Jillp, your FIL is so remarkable to be 86 and still so strong. I do hope this awful accident won't turn out worse than we hope! Best wishes! Spring


"We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid." -- Benjamin Franklin
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san j
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Quoted from JillP
Spread on cookie sheet with parchment paper, spray with olive oil cooking spray, sprinkle with Cajun Seasoning, sea salt and garlic powder.

Curious about "Cajun Seasoning". Composition? Proportions? Merci!


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JillP
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I use a Cajun Seasoning that is premixed at the store, Tones is one of my favorites.

Ingrediants Dehydrated garlic, spices, salt, paprika, dehydrated onion and red pepper.  Best part NO MSG  

If I had more than 30 minutes I could mix my own

Also love this on parsnip fries...but that is another round.


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san j
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Quoted from JillP
Quoted from Chloe
san j ....are going to give us the ingredients to use?

Waiting for instructions....


Well -- it looks like you got 'em somehow: You submitted your entry before asking!

I'm going into The Special B-Multisensory Imagination Zone now, to..."experience"... the entries. May pop out with a question or 2 along the way.  


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san j
Tuesday, November 13, 2012, 12:10am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from JillP
spread a think layer of grated ginger on the steaks and simmer

What kind of layer? It could "go either way", as you've written it.


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JillP
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Quoted from san j

What kind of layer? It could "go either way", as you've written it.


When I make it I use finely grated ginger and put it on...let me think what to compare the depth too...think trout almondine...as thick as the almonds would be...slightly less than the thickness of a piece of that nasty plastic wrapped sliced cheese    


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JillP
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Quoted from ABJoe

Is it the Maria Robinson that was President of Ireland?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Robinson



Been trying to Google your question...because I did not know.  The Pres of Ireland was MARY so I am guessing they are different people....but not positive.



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san j
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gulfcoastguy:

Rosemary-Grilled Apricot-Glazed Salmon Steaks
Jicama Slaw with chopped rosemary-toasted almonds
Bottles of beer.

GCG: First, my mouth does water at the thought of eating that salmon. You are one of the people who knows it's among the foods I could eat every day of my life, and yours incorporates another food you know I favor: Hot chili peppers. There's nothing wrong with playing the judge; we haven't decided on stakes (and they ain't ten grand, as on the TV show!), but when I saw those habañeros, I knew you were in it to win  . Particularly married to the tangy, sweet preserves, which peppers can render less cloying and really allow to shine. I don't taste this, obviously, but if your grill was up and fired, the rack oiled, and your salmon didn't fall apart ( which it has been known to do, even on the program) I think this could have been good.
I also like your incorporating the jicama into something bigger than itself. Jicama is a very succulent, watery, crunchy sort of bean, not particularly dense, and requires substance from other items in a dish. I think your mixing it into a slaw with carrots was a good call - also quickly doable. I like that you let it marinate with the dressing and other ingredients. Adding the chopped toasted almonds was a good textural call. (I'd have omitted the cucumber - another very watery vegetable, so that the jicama could really stand out. This slaw is over-busy texturally, IMO - on paper anyway.)
Yes - your post-entry "correction", which I cannot count, was right-on, in that I think you should have given us a second dish with more warmth and support of the salmon, so the slaw could shine in that tertiary role, tying the salmon together with that second component.
BUT: Your suggestion was a navy bean purée flavored with rosemary.
I didn't go for it and was glad it wasn't used - only because I'm rosemary'ed out, frankly. You carried rosemary into both the slaw (via the chopped almonds) and the salmon (via the coals); Rosemary is a very powerful herb. A little bit goes a very long way. A subtle hint of rosemary "somewhere" on a plate is often welcome, but more can be overkill.
In a way, I'd say the same thing about chili peppers, even though I'm someone who wouldn't turn aside a daily infusion of them. The tingeing of your apricot glaze with them was astute. I think I would have used the slaw in a more "contrasting" way - sometimes a customer/diner will want to use that side of the plate to, yes, balance, the outstanding/extreme/pungent elements in another component. Finally, I'd say the same thing about the honey/agave: This is a very, very, very sweet dressing: You've chosen a particularly sweet vinegar (ACV) and you're mixing it with equal parts honey or agave as your Slaw Dressing. The vinegar will carry the sugars into the slaw vegetables, and the whole thing could be too sweet. A little touch of sweetener and some acid, both added to a fat such as an eggy mayo or a yogurt, might have served you better. IMO.
Overall, I'm excited you brought me down south for a BBQ - there was "culture" in your dish.


Chloe:
Apricot Salmon Steaks baked in parchment, with String Beans Almandine and Fried seasoned Jicama Slices.

Chloe: Brava, girl, for raising your game. The use of the string beans, bringing in more pantry/produce items, was smart and essential. But the dish is so incredibly simple, it's not showing me the level of creativity we expect to see in a competition in which you'll be judged thereon. The plainness of a perfectly executed vegetable has its place beside a particularly complex, busy sauced dish, for instance, but in this case, I'd have liked to have seen you - again - use the pantry/fridge more. You could have diced some celery and onions, for instance, and added interest and texture and flavor to the "foundation" of the green beans. These might have been sautéed in the ghee/olive oil, and the green beans added, then a touch of water for a braise. Salt here is also critical, IMO, to bring out, paradoxically, the sweetness of the beans.

Your salmon, obviously, is similar to gcg's: You're both serving me an apricot salmon, with different seasonings and cooking methods. I'm imagining the flavor of your parchment-baked salmon as quite good. You supply a hefty hit of both sweetness and balancing seasoning, and these won't be diluted by the fish's juices/steam. I'm wondering if the preserves shouldn't have been mixed with some oil and citrus. Certainly acidity is missing from your plate, especially since you have a fried chip, as well as a bit of ghee in the green beans. I mention oil for the fish because it can help the preserves - and seasonings - to penetrate the flesh of the salmon.

As for the Jicama, you are bringing us both spices and texture here. I'm concerned that the Jicama might pick up too much oil the way you're cooking it - and it's not the best "stand alone" dish, the seasonings not withstanding. This is an ingredient that really demands Community with other ingredients. Baked, seasoned Jicama pieces in some varied dish, could be a cool ingredient - How about baking them crispy, more intensely seasoned, and crumbling them tiny, then tossing, with plenty of chopped fresh parsley or cilantro, over your green beans?



JillP:

Salmon Steak Sautéed, with ginger and lemon juice
Spinach Salad with Craisins, Feta, and Chopped Toasted Almonds
with apricot lemon dressing
Baked Jicama Chips with Spices

JillP: Better late than never - glad you made it!
Here's a plate that comes together somewhat better than your appetizer did; we get greens, and we get a bit of starchy chip.
The salmon, however, is not "distinctive". I really, really like ginger with salmon, but there's a savoriness, a richness missing here. Plain grated ginger and plain lemon juice require something else binding them to itself for a true consummation to take place with the salmon. So look at some menus and see that "Ginger Salmon" is more than a salmon steak with grated ginger on it; it's a ginger-flavored glaze or coulis or broth. Ginger infuses this matrix, in which the salmon cooks or which coats it or something. For an A, I think a touch of soy sauce might have been very nice - you could have used a dash of cold-pressed sesame oil instead of the olive oil, to bring this "Ginger Salmon" to life. And yes, a hit of lemon squeezed over that is very nice, too. EDIT/ADD: Didn't mention a minute ago when posting: Even if your apricot/lemon salad dressing is poured over the salmon, too, the way you used the ginger is problematic. Ginger and apricot marry well: You might have considered somehow blending these two more directly?
I would also have preferred the spinach to have been steamed a moment. It hasn't been processed, and the "fixin'"s are just placed on top, showing the same deficiency in processing/incorporating, deep creativity we're going to push for! Instead of raw spinach leaves with crumbled craisins and feta and almonds, how about creamed spinach: in a feta sauce? You see what I mean? You want your diner to come away from the dish saying: "How satisfying that was -- and it was all BTD compliant! I can't believe this restaurant exists!" rather than "Okay, she didn't give me any Avoids, and all food groups were touched upon. But I could have done that at home."

For these reasons, JillP, You Have Been Chopped.
What a bummer your FIL is not well today, but...
Yeah.
I really do hope it was kin'a fun anyway, here. And in whatever ways I, too am certainly deficient as critic and judge, friends, I assure you I'm doing it as honestly, passionately and fairly as I can, explaining my thinking re: your un-tasted, un-seen, un-executed dishes in such way as can actually be constructive for everyone, raising the bar for BTD-compliance to a sort-of restaurant standard, if you're interested in that. I think it'll make it more fun for many, too, and perhaps stand you in great stead when you cook for others who may otherwise resist your "fad diet"...


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Good luck to the rest...by the way the salmon goes ON the salad.

It was fun and I would love to try again if selected for another Chopped Challenge  


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san j
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Quoted from JillP
Good luck to the rest...by the way the salmon goes ON the salad.

It was fun and I would love to try again if selected for another Chopped Challenge  


Hi, JillP: Did you see the immediate edit, posted about a half hour before your above post (one minute after the Verdict's original posting) to the description re your dish? Here it is, from within the body of the text:

Quoted from san j
EDIT/ADD: Didn't mention a minute ago when posting: Even if your apricot/lemon salad dressing is poured over the salmon, too, the way you used the ginger is problematic. Ginger and apricot marry well: You might have considered somehow blending these two more directly?

...just in case you thought I didn't get it.
The simple bed of raw spinach with craisins, etc., and some chips was judged as you really did mean to present them. Nice job. I eat salad all the time. But you do get the concept.
Thanks so much for playing! It's challenging!
And: Glad you had fun. I have a feeling you're going to get more and more difficult to beat...



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Tuesday, November 13, 2012, 3:12am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from JillP
Been trying to Google your question...because I did not know.  

Yes, I found that the Maria Robinson in question is a fiction author.
http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/444986.Maria_Robinson


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Well I was trying to use rosemary as the ingredient to tie the dishes togather. Just for grins, I have an alternate for the navy bean puree. Take a can of beans and drain them. place the beans in a pot and add beer, onion powder, garlic powder, a small amount of cayenne, cumin, olive oil, and sea salt if the beans need it. Heat and blend with a stick blender.

Tomorrow is a work day so I won't be able to work on dessert till 8 or 9pm central time.
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Quoted from gulfcoastguy
Well I was trying to use rosemary as the ingredient to tie the dishes togather. Just for grins, I have an alternate for the navy bean puree. Take a can of beans and drain them. place the beans in a pot and add beer, onion powder, garlic powder, a small amount of cayenne, cumin, olive oil, and sea salt if the beans need it. Heat and blend with a stick blender.

Tomorrow is a work day so I won't be able to work on dessert till 8 or 9pm central time.


Hey, gcg - you didn't need the "tie-together" move, using rosemary; the salmon and the slaw went famously together, in a complementary way, conceptually, IMO. Who doesn't dig slaw with BBQ?

I haven't even thought about the dessert basket yet, Chloe and GCG.
Let's say I'll get it to you before the time you mention, above, and you and Chloe can submit it tomorrow evening after 8pm your time? A nighttime event  . I'm on the West Coast, so no problem here for me. How about you, Chloe?



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Quoted from JillP
Good luck to the rest...by the way the salmon goes ON the salad.

It was fun and I would love to try again if selected for another Chopped Challenge  



Sanj...this was not complicated but my brain was/is wiped dealing with other things...that being said, I make this salad all the time to RAVE reviews of all who have tried it.  When eating you flake the salmon and eat with the spinach etc.  I normally use Raspberry preserves instead of apricot.  The ginger is perfect and I will not change a thing.  Not as fancy as you would like for Chopped (which I totally understand) but still a great salad !  The flavors blend when easten together.  You come away satisfied but not stuffed.  Give it a try  


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I'm starting to see by san j's critiques that we're in a SERIOUS battle!  And (for me, anywyay) we're not professional cooks.....  Thanks san j for your expertise   You made this more challenging
than I had ever expected and perhaps would have never been so eager to join the contest had
I realized how little I really know about cooking...yet.... I can't begin to tell you how difficult this is to imagine the flavors of food we're not actually cooking ...It's difficult to "think" the proportions of seasonings given we're not tasting anything....Although I can "wing it" when I'm actually in the kitchen, I realize what a profound science there is to cooking....and how little
I really learned, just by reading cookbooks and watching the food network...Just the need for acidity in dishes...when I've never thought about that before.  Learned a lot although what I wish I could be doing is standing in a real test kitchen with san j, having her let us taste the difference between a perfectly seasoned dish and one that isn't.  This is an awesome thread regardless
of winning and losing....I think many of those browsing the forum learned a lot too....I often hear the judges on the show talk like this........that a dish is missing acidity or a balance of seasonings and yet, you'd think a professional chef would have learned all of this if they're good enough to have made it to the show in the first place..........

My palette isn't sophisticated enough to be picking up the nuances of missing flavors....I was just
never taught any of this before...

Good job, san j....Learning a lot from a virtual reality TV show game.

Ready for the next round.....(although I'm starting to freak OUT!)


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Quoted from Chloe
I'm starting to see by san j's critiques that we're in a SERIOUS battle!  And (for me, anywyay) we're not professional cooks.....  Thanks san j for your expertise   You made this more challenging
than I had ever expected and perhaps would have never been so eager to join the contest had
I realized how little I really know about cooking...yet.... I can't begin to tell you how difficult this is to imagine the flavors of food we're not actually cooking ...It's difficult to "think" the proportions of seasonings given we're not tasting anything....Although I can "wing it" when I'm actually in the kitchen, I realize what a profound science there is to cooking....and how little
I really learned, just by reading cookbooks and watching the food network...Just the need for acidity in dishes...when I've never thought about that before.  Learned a lot although what I wish I could be doing is standing in a real test kitchen with san j, having her let us taste the difference between a perfectly seasoned dish and one that isn't.  This is an awesome thread regardless
of winning and losing....I think many of those browsing the forum learned a lot too....I often hear the judges on the show talk like this........that a dish is missing acidity or a balance of seasonings and yet, you'd think a professional chef would have learned all of this if they're good enough to have made it to the show in the first place..........

My palette isn't sophisticated enough to be picking up the nuances of missing flavors....I was just
never taught any of this before...

Good job, san j....Learning a lot from a virtual reality TV show game.

Ready for the next round.....(although I'm starting to freak OUT!)


I think the challenge is, just as you say, that mental part.
I suppose I'm bringing to bear a certain rare combination of traits that is outpictured by this game: Sensory imagination + restaurant and private chef experience + teaching experience + ...je ne sais quoi. So this round is reflecting these my attributes. I have a feeling your palate is knowledgeable, but you're lacking a trait of mine - the ability to put it into words.
Some people "know" a great, great deal about wine, but not the lingo.
Until I studied fragrance, I could deconstruct a complex French perfume olfactorily in great detail but could not describe/define it verbally to someone else; then I learned, and people were able to learn from me how fragrances are assembled and disseminated in a way that made sense to them, making the field more interesting and exciting for them.

I am, frankly, not well.
This is tiring for me, and I won't be able to keep up this energy for long.
I suspect the tone of this sort of game will/can change with each new "producer"/judge (and either you or gulfcoastguy could be the next one!); I have no objection to your taking this ball and running with it in a different direction.

I haven't at all meant to daunt you to the point of discouragement.
And bear in mind: I've seen some of the country's top chef stars get Chopped on that show.
The rules/parameters are tough. And you're still in the game!
Look at Lola - I would probably be wow'ed at her real-life table.
And as you say: Culinary School Instructors and top flight chefs are being critiqued on that show for taste, and they are often found wanting.
Why is that? Is it, as you seem to suspect, they don't know the "profound science" or their palates aren't "sophisticated"? No way! Surely they, with their academic credentials and their impressive experience, know far more of the science than do little ol' I. But the time allotted them is very, very short, and their options limited, and their self-esteem and wits are put to the test. They have agreed to be constrained by the game's limits, and they all come up short somewhere. Often they forget to plate a Key Ingredient altogether!   The clock runs away from them.
There's personality, too. I was promoted to full Dinner Chef from "sous" when the Chef panicked one night, during service, over a problem I knew easily how to fix. The way he dealt with his panic was unacceptable to management - someone had to step in immediately - he was shown the door, and I was asked to step up. He definitely knew how to cook and was a real crowd pleaser, but...
For me, in the end, Chloe, it's all about Love. The winners on the TV version of Chopped are very often the ones whose hearts and souls drive their choices every step of the way, though those choices are informed by technical knowledge, skill, and experience.

I'm very sorry you're "freaking out", Chloe. But I'm gratified that you see this as an "awesome" educational adventure.
Maybe one day, with another judge and after the game has morphed, I'll be a contestant.
If not, maybe I'll "guest-judge" sometime, if people want to occasionally play this particular way from time to time, for the "challenge"   .
I really do hope you have fun with dessert. Does this help, darlin'?  





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Chloe
Tuesday, November 13, 2012, 5:42pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Freaking out..........Don't take me seriously...I probably use that term too often for a lack of
a more appropriate verbal expression.......  Just exaggerating my surprise at winding up in a game where I clearly wouldn't be taken as a very serious home cook.  And even when I play Monopoly or Scrabble, a game is something I take seriously. I never thought of myself as being competitive, but when I'm clearly out of my league in a competition, I feel insecure about where I'm standing.  I'm an artist and my creativity is always expressed with my favorite materials -- none of which are edible.

I don't have the language to be a judge and honestly, don't want the obligation.

So, if this thread comes to an end and the game isn't continued, the thread can always be found when searching if we want to discuss the show, or go back and read your expert comments about the meals we've created.

It's been fun so far   We all have busy lives...and have to take care of ourselves as well!  


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Quoted from Chloe
Freaking out..........Don't take me seriously...I probably use that term too often for a lack of
a more appropriate verbal expression.......  Just exaggerating my surprise at winding up in a game where I clearly wouldn't be taken as a very serious home cook.  And even when I play Monopoly or Scrabble, a game is something I take seriously. I never thought of myself as being competitive, but when I'm clearly out of my league in a competition, I feel insecure about where I'm standing.  I'm an artist and my creativity is always expressed with my favorite materials -- none of which are edible.

I don't have the language to be a judge and honestly, don't want the obligation.

So, if this thread comes to an end and the game isn't continued, the thread can always be found when searching if we want to discuss the show, or go back and read your expert comments about the meals we've created.

It's been fun so far   We all have busy lives...and have to take care of ourselves as well!  


Okay, so the current round has been stamped with my affinity for the TV/professional version.
But, creative type that you are, you could completely turn it into something very simple, such as:

Two contestants (easier to get 'em together in one place) have to come up with as many good dishes as possible - mentally only - that include two specific ingredients. Example of a winner might have been Lola's Horseradish-Walnut Pesto, which she would have submitted with, say, 3 other ideas for a dish using both. Every forum member can learn/comment, but there's only one round, one quick winner who then names an unusual pair of ingredients, and on from there.
So: Have fun imagining what would be fun, for you.
Make it your own. For an A, however, the job as-is would, I think, be too stressful!  



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Here goes: The Dessert Round, for finalists gulfcoastguy and Chloe:


Comice pears
Beets
Couscous
Canned northern, navy, or white beans

30 mins prep time: Serve three.

Entries due at the judge's bench by midnight tonight EST.
Be there or be chopped.

Don't sweat over it, though.
Just use your imaginations and have fun! No one's winning, or losing, money.
And the winner can do whatever s/he wants with the game, whenever; tweak it to your heart's content! I'll help if you need it but am happy to be hands-off entirely, too.
So, Chloe: Don't be afraid to win!  

Looking forward to my midnight snack tonight.  


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Okay Sante J de Sade

First mini pear pies
crust
Grind oatmeal into flour in the food processor
Grind raw almonds into 0.75 cups
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
combine and roll out between 2 sheets of waxed paper
cut into rounds and line buttered cupcake pans
Prebake the crust at 350F for 10 minutes

peel and slice 3 pears
toss with 3/8 cup sucanat
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cardamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter melted
At the 10 minute mark fill the crusts and put back in the oven

Brownies
Grind the cous cous to make 1/2 cup of flour
drain and rinse the navy beans and save 3/4 cup
1/2 cup light olive oil
1/4 cup expresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/3 cup chocolate chipsmelted
1/3 cup chocolate chips
combine all but the unmelted chocolate chips and blend with a stick blender
combine all ingredients and pour into buttered cupcake pan
Put into the oven at 350 for 20 minutes


Sauce
juice the beets to get 1 cup juice
combine with 1 cup grape juice from pantry
add 1/8 cup sucant
1 shot kirsch
1/8 teaspoon cardamon
reduce and thicken with arrow root starch if needed

Serve on white plates
drizzle the sauce in an S shaped pattern
place the pie in one open end of the S and the brownie in the over
Dot the pie and the brownie with the sauce

Odds of me doing this in 30 minutes? possible but it would require perfect execution.
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'stickied' this thread


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Quoted from Lola
'stickied' this thread

Great idea, Lola, so it'll still be around when we participants all emerge from hibernation!  



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Quoted from gulfcoastguy
Okay Sante J de Sade



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It's a quarter to midnight.
I've come here looking for Chloe's dessert.
Uh oh.
Well - let's see if something turns up by / in the morning!  
Stuff happens...


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Quoted from san j
It's a quarter to midnight.
I've come here looking for Chloe's dessert.
Uh oh.
Well - let's see if something turns up by / in the morning!  
Stuff happens...


Been super busy...Today is my DH's b'day and I've got tons to do....a cake to bake, present to wrap and dinner to think about.. I think I  really need to opt out as these ingredients aren't something I can wrap my head around..Not able to think of anything and seriously can't focus my attention on it at all.......Sorry.  

By default, I defer to GCG as the winner!!!


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The couscous is made of wheat. Know I know how the contestants feel, wheat based pasta, beats, and white beans for  dessert?  Fortunately I've made brownies with beans in them back in the 90's. I've also made them with jalapenos andThai Hot peppers but I couldn't find that recipe clipping.
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Quoted from gulfcoastguy
The couscous is made of wheat. Know I know how the contestants feel, wheat based pasta, beats, and white beans for  dessert?  Fortunately I've made brownies with beans in them back in the 90's. I've also made them with jalapenos andThai Hot peppers but I couldn't find that recipe clipping.


Aha! You've discovered something "key".
When you see all those ingredients, do you think: "I have to use them in abundance"?
or "I have to force lots of starch down my diners' gullets"?
To say: "In my dessert dish I had to use sweetener in the cake AND the frosting AND the filling – wow! That's just too much," would be similarly strange, and certainly unusual for a chef, or for any home cook baking a cake for her/his family's dessert.


An ingredient can and should be used judiciously. This dessert challenge did not require you to serve a couscous dish plus a bean dish plus a beet dish.
You chose to separate those three components into three different entities: A pie crust for fruit, a cake, and a sauce (I presume for both dessert items?).
You used all three somewhat incidentally, as a mere component of each component, which is appropriate. One embedded within in the thin crust of a mini-pie, one in a cake batter, and some beet juice in a garnishing sauce - not a soup. That is how you chose to use the ingredients, in the proportions that you determined best.

I think you forced a food-group on me far, far less here than you did in the Entrée round, where you proposed adding rosemary-puréed beans to the rosemary-smoked grilled salmon and the rosemary-toasted almond garnish for the slaw. And most would even have found the chili peppers in both salmon glaze AND the slaw excessive. In the case of both rosemary and chilis, these were not basket ingredients; you chose to both use and emphasize them thus.

The secret is to use each ingredient so that the judge can be impressed with how you exploit its versatility, to see how original you can be with each ingredient, so as NOT to impose imbalance on the dish or diner.
I don't think there's anyone here, gcg, who isn't impressed with your gameness to rise to this challenge!
You are the Chopped Champion!  

The idea of a competitive food game here at dadamo forum is one I'm glad I proposed.
I can tell you that this one has drawbacks for many reasons, but because I did it I'm in position to offer ideas that will make Variations of the concept more enjoyable for anyone interested in hosting/judging a game with different parameters.

Firstly, of course, the D'Adamo distinctives can be played up.
Secondly, two, rather than four, contestants, are easier/quicker to assemble and judge.
Three, a one-round (rather than 3-round) event is faster-paced.
Fourth, One dish is less demanding on the judge.

One possible brainstorm-launching proposal would be:
Two contestants face off: Each must prepare a dinner plate using 4 beneficials for his/her BT (including secretor status). Period. You might impose a prep/exec. time limit, or not.

But, gcg, you are such an imaginative cook and have inspired me often with your recipes and enthusiasm, here at dadamo.
I hope you can see where I tried to bring to my critiques that appreciation, even while there was no favoritism on my part.
Sorry we missed your dessert, Chloe. gcg is a tough competitor, indeed! That's the problem with not posting your recipes simultaneous with your opponent....and with there being no $10,000 prize!

Is it true Bs make the best cooks? Toshitaka Nomi / Alexander Besher said so, or at least found them/us best suited for the career of professional cook. The Japanese are the ones who keep tabs on such stats; maybe we should look into it.

Good Luck, gcg.
When I have more energy, I hope to be able to play a game on here myself.
Cook with Love, boy,
San J


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San J I didn't use couscous in the pie crust, I used my standard almond/oatmeal crust that I put in the recipebase. I used the couscous in the brownies.  I'm afraid that I really couldn't make beans and beets shine in a dessert course so I just incorporated them in unique ways. I actually considered a rice pudding type using the couscous but 2 desserts was all I had time for and ideally I'd need somebody to do some prep work for me like on Iron Chef to meet that deadline.

I'm going to sit out the next round. Why don't we try two A's head to head? They have the biggest problem with ingredients and following the BTD/GTD.
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Greetings, friend.
I liked that Chloe and JillP, two of your noble competitors, were both As.

Oh, sorry about that mis-reporting of mine, above.

Sweetheart, I think you did an extraordinary job and am not surprised at that, though your ambition with dessert would have likely proved excessive in practice in various ways, which is the norm for every chef on the program. Diverse circumstances would have forced you to really fly by the seat of your pants on that course, which is why our dear Chloe could have won it with something technically simpler -----Yes, there are angles to this -----

Remember, too, when you're dreaming up Chopped II's format/rules/concept, that an A-friendlier game has to be somewhat more ...zen.  
A really pressured restaurant-type kitchen puts them at a psychic disadvantage, perhaps?
Most of the chef-competitors you see on these shows are almost caricatures of Os and Bs -- see if you agree as you watch in future.

If you don't want to coordinate the next round, perhaps your distinguished runner-up will stand in for you - and even redesign/simplify the whole game.
Chloe? Are you about? HB to your hubby. Hope it was a good day.
I'm wiped.


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Quoted from san j
[to Lola]Your claim to fame: Horseradish Pesto.
Ironically, O First Chopped-One, that may well turn out to be the legacy of the whole show!  

Sure, enough.
Here I am, enjoying a snack of celery sticks with horseradish-jalapeño dip, and I've got some shelled walnuts on the side, and I'm thinking: What an interesting combination - the walnuts actually taste sweet beside the bite of the peppers and horseradish...
And I thought of Lola and her pesto.

Who wants to submit possible recipes for a Walnut-Horseradish pesto? Just as other pestos can be made numerous ways, I'm sure the same is true in this case.
And - since there's no timer going, now La Maestra has time to make us a grapefruit soufflé to go with it -- another recipe I'm hankering after...


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''Just follow the book, don't look for magic fixes to get you off the hook. Do the work.'' Dr.D.'98
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